You walk into the kitchen and you find a snack. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
With the human body, everything is interconnected. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For example, high sodium intake can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. The data indicates that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a significant impact. Other issues, such as exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are important: Your general hearing health is going to be impacted by what you eat. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition can cause issues like tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you determine (and properly address) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Always consult your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
Research is one thing, real life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the final word on the topic. In order to validate and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still need to be done. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. It may mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet is one of those facets, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.